3rd century BC - Lanka

Ruhuna - `Punch Mark' silver

The identifiable silver Punched-marked coins from Tissamaharama in Ruhuna belong to the Magadha-Myurya karshapana series.
The best known of the Magadha Empire (B.C. 542-413) is King Bimbisara (B.C. 542-493) the Royal patron of the Buddha Siddhartha Guatama (B.C. 563-483) in Pataliputra (Patna).
The best known of the Mauryan Empire (B.C. 322-185) is Emperor Ashoka (B.C. 273-232) who sent his son Mahinda to Lanka with the Buddhist philosophy he conveyed to King Devampiya Tissa (B.C. 247-207) in Mihintale in B.C. 247.

The obverse is usually covered with Five or Six punch marks, often overlapping. The reverse his has usually fewer punches, frequently smaller and less distinct, often just one or even none.

The Punch-marked coins below illustrate the wide variety of shapes, sizes (11-23 mm), thickness (1-3 mm) and weights (1.6-3.4 grams) in which they have been found in Lanka.

Please help me identify some of the Punch Mark coins on this page. I thank Anne van't Haaff and Pankaj Tandon who have so far sent me comments.


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Height19 mm
Width14 mm
Thickness1.2 mm
Weight2.4 gms
ShapeRectangle
BM_punch_01_obverse BM_punch_01_reverse
01
Obverse : 468 Sun; 417 6-arms; 348 dog-on-Mountain; 58 Bull(r); G12 Python
Reverse :

ID Brig Muna: GH424 IV-Group XXXI G12 Python


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Height19 mm
Width16 mm
Thickness1.4 mm
Weight3.0 gms
ShapeRectangle
RW_punch_02_obverse RW_punch_02_reverse
02 Identified by Anne van't Haaff as Gupta/Hardaker # 442, (XC, extremely common).
A Punch-Mark coin of this type illustrated as G.71 in OBRW

Obverse : Clockwise from 2 O'clock: 468 Sun; 446 6-arms; 349 tree-on-Mountain; 58 Bull(r); A1 Elephant
Reverse :

ID Brig Muna: GH 442 Series IVd - Group XXXII A1 Elephant, Belongs to Nandas 370-320 BC/ This coin has been restruck. Worn Revese symbpls difficult to identify. See Fish and arrowhead symbols at the ends of 6-arms.


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Diameter16 mm
Thickness2.5 mm
Weight3.4 gms
ShapeRound
RW_punch_03_obverse RW_punch_03_reverse
03 Identified by Pankaj Tandon as Gupta/Hardaker # 574
At the very top of the scan, the punch appears to be what I think of as "the stag," punch #4 on GH 573-575. The coin is possibly 574, because I think I see the bull on the left of your scan.
Obverse : 2 O'clock: 270 tree tilting out of enclosure(not seen); 8 O'clock: 392 6-arms;
Reverse :

ID Brig Muna:


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Side13 mm
Thickness3.1 mm
Weight3.4 gms
ShapeClipped Square
RW_punch_04_obverse RW_punch_04_reverse
04 Identified by Pankaj Tandon as Gupta/Hardaker # 501-503
The coin seems to have the well-demarcated square, plus the pile of hills over on the right of the scan. On the other hand, down below the punch seems to be the jumping dog. So I don't know ...

Obverse :
Reverse :


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Diameter16 mm
Thickness2.3 mm
Weight3.4 gms
ShapeRound
RW_punch_05_obverse RW_punch_05_reverse
05
Obverse :
Reverse :


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Diameter15 mm
Thickness2.5 mm
Weight3.4 gms
ShapeRound
RW_punch_06_obverse RW_punch_06_reverse
06 Identified by Pankaj Tandon as Gupta/Hardaker # 586 or 587
I am eliminating 584 and 585 because of the reverse). You don't often see these with the separate human figures.
Obverse :
Reverse :


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Side15 mm
Thickness1.7 mm
Weight2.7 gms
ShapeSquare
RW_punch_07_obverse RW_punch_07_reverse
07
Obverse :
Reverse :


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Diameter14 mm
Thickness2.7 mm
Weight3.2 gms
ShapeRound
RW_punch_08_obverse RW_punch_08_reverse
08
Obverse :
Reverse :


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Major17 mm
Minor14 mm
Thickness2.1 mm
Weight3.1 gms
ShapeElliptical
RW_punch_09_obverse RW_punch_09_reverse
09 Identified by Anne van't Haaff as Gupta/Hardaker # 493, ( N, Normal, neither scarce, nor common).
This type is not listed in OBRW
Obverse :
Reverse :


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Diameter14 mm
Thickness2.5 mm
Weight3.3 gms
ShapeRound
RW_punch_10_obverse RW_punch_10_reverse
10
Obverse : 2 O'clock: 15
Reverse :

Brig Muna: Series VIb


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Height13 mm
Width12 mm
Thickness2.7 mm
Weight3.2 gms
ShapeRounded Rectangle
RW_punch_11_obverse RW_punch_11_reverse
11Identified by Pankaj Tandon as clearly a series VI coin, with the sun, the 6-arm, and the 3-hill, but I'm not sure beyond that.
Obverse :
Reverse :


SPECIFICATIONS
AlloySilver
TypeStruck
Height23 mm
Width12 mm
Thickness1.0 mm
Weight1.7 gms
ShapeRounded Rectangle
RW_punch_12_obverse RW_punch_12_reverse
12
Obverse :
Reverse :


Punch-marked coins from the single hoard of 28 Imperial Punched-marked and 4 Lakshmi plaques found in a Terracotta money box (I.1) found in Akurugodella are illustrated in the 1999 catalog Ruhuna. An Ancient Civilization Re-visited by Bopearachchi and Wickramasinhe, OBRW G.59-G.86 Plates 9-11. Note: The images of the punch-marked coins in that book have been scaled up by about 60% unlike the most of the other coins illustrated.
Eight of those coins are round to slightly elliptical, Eighteen of the coins are square to slightly rectangular (ratio 0.87 +/- 0.7 ) and two are highly rectangular (ratio 0.55. like #12 above). The size is on average 17 x 15 mm (+/- 2 ) with an average weight of 2.7 +/- 0.4 grams.

The punched-marked coins #02-#12 illustrated above were obtained from the Author of this catalog, where those coins have been identified according to the classification proposed by P. L. Gupta and T. R. Hardaker (1985) in Indian Silver Punched-marked Coins: Magadha-marura Karshapara Series, Nasik.

Text from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
  Page 16 Chapter III Ancient Coins - Edlings - Plate 1

The coins were scanned at 600dpi and are displayed at 400dpi. These punched-Mark coins which had been found in Lanka were obtained in Lanka in 2000 August. #01 was a gift from Brig. Munasinghe, and the rest obtained from Rajah Wickremasinhe author and collector in Lanka